Brexit extension: 'Impeach Boris Johnson if law ignored'

Clay Curtis
September 10, 2019

The British Parliament has rejected for the second time PM Boris Johnson's bid to call early elections before a crucial European Union summit in October, dealing yet another blow to the Brexit-pushing United Kingdom leader.

"This government will press on with negotiating a deal, while preparing to leave without one", Johnson told parliament after the result of the vote on an early election.

Jeremy Corbyn has warned Boris Johnson that a general election "is coming", but not on the Prime Minister's terms, as the Labour leader effectively launched his campaign for an election he is yet to vote for.

Monday night saw the British premier suffer his sixth consecutive defeat in a vote in the House of Commons, after his attempt to get approval for a snap poll was rejected for a second time.

Corbyn said the prime minister has gone around the country saying he is going to defy Parliament. "It is one of the longest for decades and it represents not just in the minds of some colleagues but huge numbers of people outside, an act of executive fiat", he told a raucous chamber.

"While the opposition run from their duty to answer to those who put us here, they can not hide forever", he said.

Also note that since taking office, the only part of the Withdrawal Agreement Mr Johnson has objected to is the backstop - the device to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland.

Johnson will on Monday evening try again, and in all likelihood, fail again, to call a snap election as a solution to the impasse in which he finds himself.

Corbyn's Labour Party has only 247 seats in the 650-seat House of Commons but could command a majority with the support of other opposition parties and independent lawmakers.

Johnson says he is working to revise the deal agreed by his predecessor, Theresa May, which MPs rejected - but insists Brexit must happen next month no matter what.

"No-one can trust the word of a prime minister who is threatening to break the law to force through no-deal".

Opposition leaders have not supported the votes, which needed the backing of two-thirds of MPs, because they fear an election could be used to force through a no-deal Brexit.

Any such move would also likely be challenged in the courts.

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The options being entertained, according to British media reports, include the government simply ignoring the law, thus risking jail time for the prime minister, who insists that the prospect of a no-deal Brexit gives him more leverage in negotiations with the EU.

Many MPs are believed to have abstained.

The PM said on Tuesday he would not go to Brussels request an extension to the October 31 deadline, however, there's speculation in Westminster surrounding two possible ways around this.

Varadkar told Johnson he must make specific proposals on the future of the Irish border if there is to be any hope of averting a "no-deal" Brexit, saying Ireland can not rely on simple promises.

It lists key personnel within Mr Johnson's current Government, including the Prime Minister's senior adviser Dominic Cummings and director of legislative affairs Nikki da Costa.

Varadkar said he was open to any alternatives that were "legally workable", but none had been received so far.

Johnson would then hope to win that election to return to power with a majority in parliament large enough to approve a no-deal exit if necessary.

But Johnson reiterated his position that he would not ask for the extension.

The comments marked a change of tone, if not substance, for Johnson, who is accused by opponents of driving Britain at full-tilt toward a cliff-edge Brexit.

Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow gestures during a meeting at the G7 parliaments summit, in Brest, western France, September 6, 2019. According to Dominic Lawson, a renowned columnist for The Times of London, Johnson's unwavering determination to make Brexit happen on October 31 has "energized" Britain's civil service and "despite the strains it imposes, represented a blessed relief after the opaqueness and immobilism of his predecessor (former PM Theresa May)".

Britons voted in June 2016 to leave the European Union but after three years of political wrangling, parliament still can not decide how to implement the decision.

Mr Johnson said he understood the "conundrum" Brexit has caused for Ireland and the "fantastic political importance and sensitivities of the border".

It would certainly get the prime minister out of the hole he's in.

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